• Flashback Friday - realMyst: Masterpiece Edition

    realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is a quintessential video game, one of the best to introduce someone to video games. Visually stunning due to its art design, distinct in its storytelling and gameplay, non-linear and it forces the player to think.

    It is also one of the most beautiful, visionary games ever made thanks to its source material. It succeeds in carrying Myst into the 21st century. It is a mesmerizing first-person adventure that should keep you hooked from start to finish. The non-linear, open ended gameplay is extremely refreshing as game design has largely regressed since the 1990s especially in this regard, with most modern games holding your hand all the way through because most gamers lack the attention span and intelligence for anything else. But realMyst: Masterpiece Edition does not go down that road, it is a faithful remake that's merely more intuitive and beautiful than the original.

    For a breakdown of our scoring system, read this.

    • Presentation: Unique. realMyst: Masterpiece Edition has a limited amount of save slots, and when starting it up it throws you right into the game without wasting any time. It does let you choose between the classic point-and-click Myst style of gameplay, and more modern gameplay with WASD movement. The latter is really the way to go. Aside from this, it has a surprisingly complete array of graphics options, but it does lack the ability to disable mouse acceleration. Also, unfortunately it lacks individual volume controls so sometimes the soundtrack makes it very hard to hear voices, and this is with good audio equipment. Optimization is unfortunately terrible; even today this is one of the hardest games to run. 12/20
    • Story: Rather than attempting to provide a deep, highly intellectual story, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition like the originals succeeds at being involving thanks to the storytelling discovered through exploration. Learning more about Achenar and Sirrus by following their trails for example, and then using this knowledge to decide on which paths to go. Atrus's journals are very well written and succeed in building up desire to explore Ages, while giving insight to the game's puzzles thanks to intriguing technobabble. The appearance of these Ages matches exactly what one would picture while reading these journals. Overall good writing quality and an engaging story. 17/20
    • Gameplay: The gameplay really just involves exploring and solving unique puzzles. The puzzles are very weird but aren't without clues and logic behind them. The only complaints here are some synthetic limitations, designed to make the game longer or more tricky while sacrificing logic. One such example is that the player can't carry more than one book page at a time, others include not being able to go to places that you should be able to reach, even if it would require jumping which this game doesn't have. To avoid synthetic challenges like this, the levels should be designed in such a way that the only inaccessible places should actually be physically impossible to reach for a person. With that being said, these instances are minor and not too common. 18/20
    • Audio & Visuals: Despite being dated for a 2014 game in technical graphics, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is a beauty. This is due to its artistic design, although technically speaking the graphics aren't bad either, they just look a few years older than they really are. Aliasing is a problem, but at the end of the day the art design trumps the fidelity. The soundtrack is one of the best in gaming, the ambient sounds are wonderful and the sound effects are good, voice acting is decent overall but could be better. 16/20
    • Lasting Appeal: The non-linear gameplay and multiple endings (four to be exact) will definitely attract multiple playthroughs from those who enjoy their first. Also, the world of Myst itself is so unique and enthralling that it is sure to call you back. It's a short game, lasting no more than 7 hours unless you're terrible with the puzzles, but it's the perfect length. Two of the endings can be unlocked very early, although one of these requires knowledge that a first-time player wouldn't have. 13/20
    • Overall: 76/100 (Fantastic game on a flawed engine)

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. strudinox's Avatar
      strudinox -
      Awesome, I really need to play through this for old times sake. Loved the videos though. I didn't watch all of them though. I wanted to save some of the content for when I get around to playing through it. Great writeup!